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4 March 2011 Analysis of adipose tissue distribution using whole-body magnetic resonance imaging
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Obesity is an increasing problem in the western world and triggers diseases like cancer, type two diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. In recent years, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become a clinically viable method to measure the amount and distribution of adipose tissue (AT) in the body. However, analysis of MRI images by manual segmentation is a tedious and time-consuming process. In this paper, we propose a semi-automatic method to quantify the amount of different AT types from whole-body MRI data with less user interaction. Initially, body fat is extracted by automatic thresholding. A statistical shape model of the abdomen is then used to differentiate between subcutaneous and visceral AT. Finally, fat in the bone marrow is removed using morphological operators. The proposed method was evaluated on 15 whole-body MRI images using manual segmentation as ground truth for adipose tissue. The resulting overlap for total AT was 93.7% ± 5.5 with a volumetric difference of 7.3% ± 6.4. Furthermore, we tested the robustness of the segmentation results with regard to the initial, interactively defined position of the shape model. In conclusion, the developed method proved suitable for the analysis of AT distribution from whole-body MRI data. For large studies, a fully automatic version of the segmentation procedure is expected in the near future.
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Diana Wald, Tobias Schwarz, Julien Dinkel, Stefan Delorme, Birgit Teucher, Rudolf Kaaks, Hans-Peter Meinzer, and Tobias Heimann "Analysis of adipose tissue distribution using whole-body magnetic resonance imaging", Proc. SPIE 7963, Medical Imaging 2011: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 796312 (4 March 2011);

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